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Ashe County Veterans History Project: Sam Crumpler

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Sam Crumpler's Photos

Sam Crumpler's Story

Charles Harold (Sam) Crumpler was born Aug. 23, 1950, in Wilson, NC.  

His mother, Mildred Hayes Crumpler, worked as a housewife and his father, Horace Richardson Crumpler, as a welder.  Sam came from a large family; eight children counting himself.  One brother, Tommy Crumpler, was also in the Army for two years.  

Prior to the service Sam worked for Davis Tile Company in Black Creek, North Carolina.  Sam was happily surprised to get drafted.  He wasn’t married or have any children at the time, but he did leave behind his parents and siblings. He had to report to a draft entry point in Wilson (induction center) and was sent by bus to Raleigh for a physical and then to Fort Bragg for basic training

The Army taught him to take every opportunity to better his education, since no one can take that away from you.  This experience made him grow up fast and made him a better person.

He attended basic training, military occupational training, jump school, numerous professional development trainings, army recruiting school, and first sergeant academy.  He graduated from basic and senior noncommissioned officer training at Texas Western University.  Sam was recognized as a master jumper–with 96 successful parachute jumps–and an expert rifleman.

Sam traveled to many places and met a lot of different people.  Although he didn't like being away from family he did enjoy gaining knowledge about the world and places he had never been. 

After basic training he attended Military Occupational Specialist Training to become a combat engineer.  He had to qualify with weapons, learning to assemble, disassemble, and clean them.  These were long hours and Sam had to work many ‘a hard day’s night,’ rain or shine.  No time off for bad weather!  His highest rank was Master Sergeant and he received awards for good conduct, Army achievement and several Meritorious Service Medals.

The Army taught him to take every opportunity to better his education, since no one can take that away from you.  This experience made him grow up fast and made him a better person.

Sam served honorably in the military from May 1970 – June 1990.  He doesn’t regret anything, not even being drafted and would do it all over again, not changing a thing.  After military service he went to work for North Carolina Department of Corrections and stayed there until he retired in 2015.

-- Interviewed by his granddaughter, Loren Shimel